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Have you tried to cancel your Edgars card?

Easy come, not so easy to go … the various helplines and websites are more geared towards hooking the customer.
As much as Edgars, Jet and RCS require 'emailed proof of payment’ from you, make sure you get proof from them that your value-added services have indeed been cancelled and your account closed. Image: Bloomberg

It used to be fairly easy to open an account – you could walk into a store, complete the documents, provide two references, and you received your card. Closing one’s account was just as simple.

Today an account can be opened online, but fairly sensitive documents have to be submitted, such as a copy of your identity document and bank statements. And the process may take longer.

But Edcon really does want to ensure that you are issued with a store card, and will assist with any problem.

After all, you are more likely to purchase that must-have (and usually unnecessary item) when you don’t have to dole out the cash. Store cards also find enticing ways to attract new members – such as offering R1 750 in Edgars vouchers if you join Edgars Club, which offers various benefits such as a 50% discount on movie tickets.

Read: Big-brand Edgars acquisition puts Retailability in the limelight

Account holders can create a profile on the Edgars website, allowing them to stay up to date about the exciting offerings, and it has a helpline with set questions. You have been sucked in.

And that’s where the helpfulness ends

Unbeknown to many Edgars account holders, the store card business, which was previously owned by Absa, now belongs to and is managed by RCS, which is part of the BNP Paribas group.

Monthly charges amounting to R93 are added to Edgars store card accounts.

This pays for the Edgars Club membership, credit insurance, plus a service charge. In comparison, the monthly charge on Ackermans accounts is R20.

But now you want to cancel your Edgars card. Sadly, helplines and store websites are geared more towards hooking the customer than helping them break free.

And pity the customer who is running out of airtime or the means to purchase more, because they are going to have to make a few calls …

‘Cancel’ is a word of great clarity and yet …

If ‘Cancel Edgars account’ is searched online, the unhelpful reply is: “Kindly furnish us your account or ID number so that we may liaise with the accounts team regarding the account closure request. Alternatively kindly be advised that the matter may be sent directly to the accounts team for actioning.”

No time frames within which Edgars and RCS should action anything are laid down.

You can call a few Edgars/Edcon/RCS helplines to obtain your final balance, pay it immediately, and inform whoever answers the helpline that you want to cancel your card – but no one can tell you what the process is.

Meanwhile, your account will be debited with the monthly charges even though there is a nil balance. If you innocently signed a debit order, your bank account will continue to be debited.

You can log onto hellopeter.com (a consumer advocacy and corporate reputation management website) and add your voice to the growing list of complaints made by desperate Edgars customers trying to cancel their store cards.

It is unfortunate, they say

When contacted by Moneyweb for comment, RCS CEO Regan Adams replied as follows: “It is unfortunate that Edgars and Jet store card customers are experiencing difficulties closing their accounts following the closure of a complex Edcon business rescue process and challenging systems account migration. We sincerely apologise for their frustration and inconvenience, and ask that they bear with us as we address these issues.”

And then the hook: “We are committed to resolving these issues and know that both Retailability and The Foschini Group have some exciting future plans for the Edgars and Jet stores.”

Read:

Adams continued: “For those Edgars and Jet store card holders who would still like to close their accounts, they can follow this relatively simple process. Customers that have additional value-added services such as Club or insurance products must remember to cancel these separately. RCS does not manage these services, they are completely separate, however these value-added services are reflected on the overall billing on the account.”

The cancellation process for Edgars and Jet store card holders is as follows:

  1. Obtain a settlement quote by dialling the RCS call centre (0860 111 826 for Edgars and 0860 111 881 for Jet) and using the self-service function, or this can be done in-store at customer services.
  2. Pay the outstanding amount on the settlement quote via EFT or in-store within five days of receiving the quote.
  3. Email proof of payment to edgarspayments@rcsgroup.co.za or jetpayments@rcsgroup.co.za.
  4. Cancel all additional value-added services such as cellphone insurance and Edgars Club subscriptions.

The first problem with this “relatively simple process”?

For starters, it seems that point 4 above should in fact be done first. You need to cancel all of those additional value-added services before you will be able to close your account.

Cancel those value-added services

To do this, Jet customers can call 0860 113 639.

Edgars customers will however need to call any (or all) of the relevant numbers:

  • Edgars Club – 086 100 0140
  • Edgars CPI Insurance (policy administration and claims) – 087 820 2024
  • Edgars Cellphone Insurance – 0860 346 748
  • Edgars Life Products/Insurance – 0860 111 343
  • Edgars Dental Insurance – 0860 033 266
  • Edgars Legal – 0800 453 425
  • Edgars Home Protect – 0861 113 437
  • Cancelling airtime must be done in-store.

In reality, many of the above options loop back to the annoying “Welcome to customer care …” voice recording

Edgars and Jet can’t do it for you

A desperate pensioner said: “Customer inquiries said that they will escalate the request to close the Edgars Club – [and that it] is not possible to do both [cancel the club membership and close the account at the same time].”

‘Inquiries’ will first ‘escalate’ the request to cancel the club membership. The hapless customer then has to wait five days or so, and “should get an SMS advising that the club membership has been closed”.

The customer may now call the relevant Edgars/Jet RCS number and ask for the account to be closed, at which stage they will be given the ‘closing account amount payable’.

But beware – paying this amount does not necessarily mean that the account has been closed. The account may just have been settled, to the point that it now has a nil balance. The monthly service charge will however continue to be levied, meaning that the pleasing ‘nil’ balance won’t stay at zero for long.

It would seem the onus is on the customer to receive written confirmation from RCS that their account has been closed.

This should of course not be necessary, but from the number of complaints it is clear that something has been going wrong.

Is RCS closing its eyes to an obvious problem?

Could it be that in the time between the customer making the payment and the payment actually reflecting on the account – a process said to take ‘ages’ – a new service fee charge may have been levied?

Could this be how these so-called ‘closed’ accounts mysteriously reactivate themselves?

If a customer believes that their nil balance together with their request that the account be closed means their account has indeed been closed, they won’t think to check the balance the following month, or the next …

Those monthly service charges will be adding up. Next thing, the customer who believes they no longer have an Edgars or Jet account will be informed that they had better pay their outstanding balance – or else.

It should be emphasised that in addition to jumping through the numerous hoops outlined above, customers would be well-advised to get RCS to confirm – in writing – that their account has been closed.

Or perhaps better still, refer to the old adage about cash being king.

Why is it all so backward?

Edcon and RCS should learn from online subscription services such as DStv, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, which a customer can switch on and off at will.

If DStv can see an online payment, why can’t RCS? Why the need to email proof of payment?

And why should a customer have to pay insurance and service fees for the pleasure of being ‘hooked’ in as a loyal repeat customer?

During this Covid-19 cash crunch period, there are no doubt many consumers trying to pay off large accounts and cancel their store cards.

Retailers should gear themselves towards assisting consumers during this stressful time. If they don’t, they will lose those customers forever – thereby putting their profitability and sustainability at risk.

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Just cut it up.

How would this help prevent monthly service charges and club fees? I have never asked to be an Edgars Club member and have never used the club and do not have a club card, just an Edgars account.

That is the starter action. Then go and deal with the debit order. Alternately file an ‘Unauthorized deduction’ with your bank.

…along with your debit order for club fees!

Telkom, Edgars, 10X investments, Absa insurance — the list is endless !!!

Poked my nose into Edgars Key West Monday where we really battled to close our account 10 years ago only to find it totally empty of customers and staff…..
One uninterested spray bottle holder lurking near the door, almost asleep.

….and heaven knows what is those “bottles”!

I suggest, once you have exhausted all avenues in notifying them of the cancellation/closure of the account, you simply apply a stop payment on the monthly debit order. That should get them to quickly start calling you.

No, please don’t. You risk being blacklisted and has implications on your credit scores.

Muks I would love someone to blacklist me after I repeatedly asked them to close the acc. Let’s see who wins that one… The point I wanted to make was to get them to call you if your calls have no effect. If they are so stupid not to call you and simply just blacklist you, well then they deserve what is coming to them.

The bank said they can’t do that. All you can do is repeatedly reverse the charge, but you cannot stop the debit order.

That is correct Ronnie… it’s not closed, but the stop payment can be loaded to block the payment monthly. Although the acc is not closed, the funds are not leaving your acc either. My point had more to do however in getting THEM to call you if you don’t have joy in getting hold of them. Not paying someone always gets them to call you quickly. Hopefully this strategy works for you.

So it seems the process of cancelling one’s Edgars card, and that of cancelling your ‘life long’ Vacation Club membership, are more or less on par.

Interesting description of the writer, below the article image: “….make sure you get POOF from them…”

Inadvertent typo (at 00h01 this morning), of just very clever wordplay?
i.e. your cancellation request will….’poof’… vanish from their system? (In Afrikaans the word sounds suspect…avoid stepping on it)

Notification by email is best

Email to have brief subject outline

Contents of email should reflect..

Person in accounts notified of A/c closure by earlier communication
Date outstanding account was paid up
Referral code if possible obtained

End off “If response to this notification from your office does not occur in 7 days, then the account is deemed as cancelled”

Archive

Works for me

Good idea. I’d also add in capital letters that any additional costs resulting from their failure to acknowledge and implement the request for closure or cancellation of the account/membership will be for their account solely.
If costs do arise, lodge a claim for the costs against the CEO and your local store manager in the small claims court. It only needs to happen once or twice and they will change their processes.

Sounds like RCS are employing an active strategy of confusion and obfuscation here – make it so difficult for anyone to close their account that they can continue to bill for and collect those monthly amounts, meaning that most people will just give up – bureaucracy at its best/worst?

Never mind, assuming at least 500,000 card holders, that’s R10,000,000 a month for zip, nada, niks, nothing….its daylight robbery!

Exactly, I have had the same experience with Guardbank, Metropolitan Life, Telkom and Cell C. They have perfected a strategy of continual obfuscation while pretending to care. When asked if your problem has been resolved to your satisfaction your response simply gets fed back into the loop. Every email is answered by a different person and they ignore your specific points. I suspect that the responses are from automatons which is why they are always irrelevant. When asked not to phone you and answer by return email they ignore that and phone with a load of questions – never an answer to your issues. When you ask the voice if they have read your email the answer is evasive. When asked specifically about your complaint you get told that “I am going to escalate this to our complaints dept” and so it goes, on and on, round and round while they continue to debit your account. In the case of Metropolitan I wanted to cancel two life insurances, one had a surrender value of about R3k. To cancel the policies they wanted all the info that is used to create them! Always new issues, so I cancelled the debit orders but they then refused to refund my surrender value because “the account is in default and has lapsed”! We live in a deteriorated world where morals, ethics, honesty and goodwill have evaporated, the default now is deception, crime, corruption, misinformation and fakes. How will humanity ever regain it’s honour? (But the majority still belong to a religion. Go figure!)

Sounds like Old Mutual or Capitec.

Virgin Active are even worse. They debit your account erroneously and then have phone numbers on their website that are never answered and a complaints process that simply goes back to the start when you submit. Zero customer care. Its all about the money.

Obviously Edgars is a scam outfit. Should be investigated by the Hawks for fraud and money laundering!
Potential customers need stay away.

My experience last week has been even worse. I received an email from RCS – a statement for my Edgars account out of the blue. I had an Edgars account in 1997. Don’t even have card anymore and did not use it in more than 20 years. More than R8000 was spent on the account recently. Went to an Edgars branch – they can do nothing and referred me to RCS. Spoke to call centre – apparently my account was updated in March – reactivating it. But the first I hear about it is receiving a statement on email in September. It seems that information from the Experian data breach was used to update details. Call centre agent told me to send mail to fraud department. Sent mails to all the addresses I could find last Wednesday – no feedback yet – but their system has automated mail saying you’ll get feedback in 48 hours. I now basically have to prove it was no me who reactivated that account and spent the money on it.

Thank you so much for opening this issue in the media.
Some people seem not to quite get it – one cannot cancel a debit order, it has to be cancelled by the store! All one can do is reverse a charge, which means you have to keep a close eye on your bank account. Secondly, “cutting up the card” will not help, if you are not shopping on it, you have paid it up, and requested closure- you do not “present your card” to the store for the monthly debits of service fee, club, etc. Thirdly, I have been advised in a store that stores are unable to close accounts, they give you an email address to request closure. Fourth – you will be on a never ending loop of paying the “closing balance’ but then being charged the next month’s fees etc. I have had no reply to numerous emails and telephonic requests!

Ronnie, you raise an additional issue.

MY bank account is MY account! It is NOT a “joint venture” between me and the bank. Or between the bank and some other 3rd party with a debit order.

Anyone who takes money out of MY account can ONLY do so with MY explicit consent.

So a debit order is ONLY permissable with MY continuing consent.

Should I cancel this debit order, then that is ENTIRELY the account-holder’s prerogative.

And it is up to the jilted debit order iniator to contact his client, and sort it out between the two of them.

The bank has got NOTHING to do with this dispute, or trying to resolve it to the satisfaction of the debit order initiator. The bank acts SOLELY and preferentially for the FIRST interests of the account holder – NOT the 3rd party trying to execute an invasive debit order into MY funds.

The ethics of this logic is indisputable.

But the banks conveniently don’t want to see the ethics here, because debit orders are very profitable.

So this is another area of not treating the customer fairly that deserves explicit parliamentary legislation.

When I get uphill from banks unwilling to permanently stop a debit order and giving me the run-around, the solution is brutally simple. Just close the account, and reopen a new one.

It was about 10 years ago that Edgars treated me as rubbish whilst the mistake was on their side – right from there, card was destroyed and not a single deal with them anymore up to now or in any near future

Have you ever tried BUYING anything at Edgars? It takes forever, p1ss-poor customer service end to end

Sigh… Just another example of the *unacceptable face of capitalism”!

Amazing how business institutions that should be volubly speaking out and taking immediate, resolute, action against these business-scam practices, are noticeable by their complete silence on this unethical behaviour.

Which only provides an invitation for Parliament to step in with explicit legislation to both ban this practice, and simultaneously decree eye-watering compensation to customers that are NOT being treated fairly.

Of course, businesses will then complain that “know nothing idiots in Parliament” are now telling them how to run their businesses!

It always amazes me how silent the DA is on speaking out against these Capitalist excesses. Reveal who is funding a political party (any party!), and you will find who they are REALLY captured by (Hint:its never the voters).

Seems this is yet another god-send of a stupid Capitalist business situation that needs Malema’s involvement to get resolved real fast!

And the useless DA will be left wondering why they were left blind-sided. Again!

Sigh!

I only have a capitec card

Back in the days when the Press family ran Edgars, it was a clothing shop selling reasonable quality, affordable with “six months to pay” (in time for the next clothing season) and with a fair selection of stock.

It worked and gave satisfaction to customers, staff and shareholders.

These days it is driven by computer (which leaves stores out of stock unless you want xxxx or xxxxx garments), has less variety — possibly because it “sources” its stock from long-run Chinese instead of South African clothing factories and is so obsessed with selling to its customers (to the level of TV ads in the changing rooms) that it has forgotten that customers have preferences and feelings, and that not everyone has the same lowest common denominator taste. Trying to “own” the customer and sell her add-ons (the Amazon strategy) is only clever to the point where you keep your customers.

I actually have a credit balance on my account and occasionally pop in to their stores when I am nearby, but haven’t found anything to buy in three years — and that was towels.

Hopefully an Edgars decision maker will read this article and the comments. But I doubt it.

I tried for 3 years to have Edgars change my email address and when eventually I received the statements I discovered that Edgars had put an account protection plan onto my account which I had no knowledge of. I have been trying for five months to get a copy of the terms and conditions as normally any Life Insurance that is not underwritten is not valid for people over the age of 65. I am 74 now. I have tried to contact Hollard, who underwrite the scheme, telephonically but it will cost me more to wait for the client services agent to talk to me than the monthly cost. I am now going to Hollard Client Services via email in the hope of resolving the issue, but wont hold my breath. Once my account is paid off I will engage with RCS to close it. Dreadful service.

The simplest solution is to write to Edgars at Edgardale, cancelling your account and enclosing your cut up Edgars card. If they ever communicate with you again send a copy of your letter.
They are great at unsolicited advertorials and offers to open an account – I killed my card in the 1980’s and haven’t regretted making the decision

I asked LegalWise to cancel my SABC Tv license and it took them a long time but it happened.

If all else fails…try em 🙂

I had an Edgars card and purchased an item at a ”special ” price only to receive a demand later stating i owed them money , that was the end of me being a card holder.
Also had a Discovery card which i cancelled only to find out they had not canceled
it , took a long time and some harsh language to get it done.

Thank you for this article. Glad to know I’m not alone. After more than 10 years with Edgars, it’s time to say goodbye.

This whole change over to a new system is a mess but we the customers are caught up in this mess. And with that cold response it seems that RCS couldn’t be bothered.

Thank goodness I cancelled my club membership a few years ago. Paid up my balance today and sent an email with all the receipts to the email address provided in your article to close my account.

This experience has showed me that Edgars is not the only store that provides a variety of goods.

End of comments.

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